Is Cooking on a Cruise Ship for You?

cruise ship

Celebrity Cruise Line | main gally

Have you ever considered working on a cruise ship? Does the lure and adventure of cooking and living on a cruise ship interest you?  Okay, if it does fathom this!  This is a job notorious for very long hours with a stringent “no day off” policy. That’s right! It’s a seven-day-a-week job 12 hours or more every day for several months at a time. What do you think? Is this still an adventure you’d like to go on?

Here’s some additional information on you to base your decision on. As the weeks and months pass by your body begins to get tired. Eventually, you have to push yourself through these long days with a big SMILE! Galleys on cruise ships can be a dangerous places and being overworked can lead to safety issues.  This will lead you to a quick understanding of why safety is of the utmost importance in a ship’s galley and why it surpasses everything else. As I explained as men and women get worn down after weeks and months at sea, their energy levels do not rejuvenate as quickly. With only a few hours of sleep at night, people working in galleys tend to become careless or just plain tired.  Furthermore, this is why excessive drinking and partying should not be tolerated by the galley crew.


As your energy level is depleted and you can’t bounce back as strongly as at the beginning of your contract, rough seas (the tossing and bouncing of a ship) can be a nightmare.  Thankfully I became seasick only one time. And, of course, it was on the day when I was to give a cooking demonstration in front of well over two hundred people. I had no choice but to push myself so the show could go on! This is where experience kicks in.  I completed the cooking demo and it was well received by the passengers. However, it was not fun for me. I should have received an Emmy Award for the way a hid my seasickness. Usually, the shows are taped live and played later on the ship’s TV in the guest’s rooms.  So, this also raised the bar on how you have to rise to the occasion.

While I was cooking along during the show I thought to myself, “I wonder if any of those guys on TV-Food Network back home ever tried doing a cooking show suffering from seasickness and fighting rough seas while being critiqued by a highly acclaimed French chef, being recorded and facing a room full of international guests.” Thoughts like this helped me push through and deliver.

cruise ship

Cooking demonstration at sea by chef Franco Lania.

The recipe I demonstrated was a classic and very French Coq a Vin (chicken cooked in red wine) recipe. As one could imagine it wasn’t the easiest recipe to demonstrate under the conditions but the complexity of it all literally took my mind off the jerky movements of the sea and my upset stomach. From that moment, I realized that I had a knack for these cooking demonstrations and I was comfortable in front of the guests, even with their sometimes “off-the-wall” questions. I loved cooking and interacting with people at the same time.

cruise ship

Transatlantic Cooking Demonstration | Celebrity Cruises Chef Franco Lania

Now back to you! After an ordeal as I explained above the day is not over. Oh no! There are still about 10 more hours to go and that’s when the real work begins.  The preparation for a few thousand passengers and an approximately 800-1,000 person crew that also needs breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a job for a very special breed of culinary professionals. Food is their life and life is food. The amount you’ll learn working at sea is immeasurable, you’ll make friends from around the world and you’ll visit exotic places that most people only dream of. Oh and let’s not forget that the pay is pretty good too. If this still sounds interesting to you? If so please click here to be directed to a post full of cruise ship hiring agencies.

Ahoy Mateys ~ Welcome Aboard!

cruise ship

Chef Franco waiting for the desserts to be called.